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Emanuel Kaplan was born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. He received a BA from the Johns Hopkins University in 1931 followed by a ScD in biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1934. While studying for his doctor of science degree, Kaplan was an assistant in Biochemistry and worked with and studied under Elmer V. McCollum. Starting in 1935 he pioneered and directed the Baltimore City Health Department, Division of Chemistry’s free program to measure blood lead levels for possible lead paint poisoning exposure. He was chief of the division from 1934 to 1956. As the assistant director of the Baltimore City’s Bureau of Laboratories from 1956 to 1965, he became the chief of the division of biochemistry when the city’s lab merged with the Maryland Department of Health, a position he held until his 1975 retirement. During Kaplan’s career, he introduced tests for milk pasteurization, proper sanitation in food preparation and the blood test taken from an infant’s foot to detect blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health recognized Kaplan as one of its 20th century Heroes of Public Health celebrated on the school’s 75th anniversary in 1991.

Scope and Content

The Emanuel Kaplan Collection consists of books and reprints of Elmer V. McCollum. The reprint collection from 1914 to 1935, represents McCollum’s more productive research on vitamins, diet and nutrition. The book collection includes a signed copy of McCollum’s A History of Nutrition (1957), an autobiography, From Kansas Farm Boy to Scientist with the forward written by Edwards Park (1964) and 2 textbooks written by McCollum and colleagues. Additional original McCollum material can be found in the Elmer V. McCollum Collection.

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